Over a billion people use social media. It allows users to post about their lives, share photos, and stay in contact with friends and family. Avoiding the apps is challenging and sometimes unrealistic.
Psychologists have warned about social media’s adverse mental health effects, and mindful individuals are searching for ways to improve their habits and protect their wellbeing. Here are five ways you can minimize issues while maintaining your online presence and improve your mental health in the process.
How Social Media Impacts Users’ Mental Health
People spend more time on social media apps today than ever before, and too much scrolling can deplete your energy. Researchers created the term social media fatigue (SMF) to describe the symptoms of prolonged scrolling.
Individuals with SMF may feel burned out, uninterested, bored and tired. Draining your mental energy also leaves less power for real-life engagement. SMF may cause you to isolate yourself and miss out on real-world events, which can lead to depression.
Social media also quickly and efficiently floods our brains with content. It is addictive and leads to a release of dopamine. It also diminishes users’ attention spans, which makes long-term activities more challenging. Excessive social media scrolling can increase your frustration and inability to complete attention-reliant tasks.
Protect yourself from SMF and other adverse effects by setting social media boundaries.
1. Place Time Limits On Your Social Media Apps
Social media users can improve their mental health by setting physical boundaries. They may place limits on their app use to decrease their scrolling time by adjusting their general settings.
Turn on your screen time feature and then access app limitations. You can place time limits on specific categories, assess current usage, evaluate your screen time and create personal restrictions.
Individuals can also improve their mental health by turning off social media push notifications, which deplete a user’s attention span by disturbing their natural focus. You can also turn them off through your smartphone or tablet’s general settings.
2. Use Impactful Apps
You can also improve your mental health by using impactful social media apps. Facebook increased its charity features, which enhance users’ awareness of global issues. The app also has built-in donation channels that help people engage in impactful fundraising.
3. Mute Unhealthy Stories And Posts
It’s a good idea to mute certain stories and posts. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have account muting features that limit your content exposure. You can mute distracting accounts’ stories and posts by visiting their homepages.
Access the mute button at the top of your feed by pressing a profile picture. Options will then appear to block stories, posts or both. Minimizing your exposure to negative content can improve your mental health.
4. Be Mindful About The Accounts You Follow
Social media users can also mindfully choose accounts to follow and unfollow. Consider your present intentions to consume and use certain content. You can also curate feeds to match your personal values and get more out of your online time.
5. Like And Comment With Gratitude
Be sure to like and comment on posts. You can use social media to practice gratitude and enhance your well-being. Regularly practicing gratitude limits users’ susceptibility to depression and other mental health issues.
The Benefits Of Healthy Social Media Habits
Adopting healthy social media habits can significantly improve your quality of life. Aligning your feed with your values may also help you grow. Use platforms to learn new skills like gardening to improve your mental and physical health.
Lower your stress levels by setting healthy social media boundaries. Decreasing tension reduces your susceptibility to heart disease and other health issues, so do what you can to make your online experience as positive as possible.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.